78ºF

Police: ‘Right now it appears to be a justifiable homicide'

Mother tells police 14-year-old son stabbed his older brother

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – No charges have been filed against a 14-year-old boy who police say stabbed his 15-year-old adopted brother to death late Wednesday night.

The incident happened on Tubman Drive in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood located at Northwest Jacksonville.

Police said after Kaheem Simmons hit Keith Simmons with a board, the younger brother reacted by stabbing him with a knife.

Authorities believe this might be a case of justifiable homicide. However, after talking with neighbors and looking at police reports involving the boy who died, it is evident this family has had problems.

"Right now it appears to be a justifiable homicide. But again, without doing a full interview and looking at our evidence, and processing our scene -- I won't have a definitive answer," said Sgt. Dan Janson with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit.

The woman who adopted the boys told police at one time, Kaheem Simmons was out of control and she needed him taken away.  

Kaheem Simmons died early Thursday morning at UF Health Jacksonville. Police were called about 10:30 p.m. to the home after the mom told police her 14 and 15-year-old sons got into a fight, according to JSO.

The mother said one of her sons, 15-year-old, Kaheen Simmons, picked up a board and hit his younger brother. She told police the younger brother then reacted by picking up a knife and stabbing his older brother.

Both were taken to the hospital, where Kaheen Simmons died from his stab wounds. 

Detectives questioned the 14-year-old and his mother. An adult daughter was also home with the mother and teens at the time of the stabbing.

The boys were both adopted as babies and grew up together although there is no biological relation. Neighbors believe the mother is a foster parent.

A neighbor said she worried about the safety of her daughter and wouldn't let her play with the boys.

"It got to the point where she couldn't go outside and play anymore because the little girl she played with also played with them," Jennifer Gamble said. "My daughter would come home and tell me ... it's no good."

Officials with the Department of Children and Families said the agency has a prior history with the family and would be investigating the circumstances of the death.

"Every child death is a tragedy, and our hearts go out to everyone who knew this young man," DCF spokeswoman Jessica Sims said in a statement.


About the Authors: